Ali Izmailov wasn’t particularly impressive during much of his 10-round debut on American television Friday night.

The heavily hyped Russian light heavyweight contender nonetheless managed to edge a crafty Charles Foster by unanimous decision at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. The unbeaten Izmailov dropped the previously undefeated Foster late in the fifth round and won their “ShoBox: The New Generation” contest on the scorecards of judges Don Ackerman (96-93), Glenn Feldman (96-93) and Tom Schreck (95-94).

Ackerman and Feldman scored sixth rounds apiece for Izmailov (11-0, 7 KOs). Schreck scored five rounds apiece for Foster and Izmailov, but the fifth-round knockdown was the difference on Schreck’s card.

The left-handed Foster frustrated Izmailov with his jab and occasional holding, but Foster fought effectively inside at times against a harder puncher. Izmailov dropped Foster (22-1, 12 KOs) late in the fifth round, but Izmailov couldn’t capitalize on that brief momentum.

Izmailov, 30, successfully defended the USBA light heavyweight title he won two fights ago by out-pointing previously unbeaten Eric Murguia (14-1, 12 KOs). Foster, 33, lost for the first time in a professional career the New Haven, Connecticut native launched in 2011.

Despite requests from trainer John David Jackson, Izmailov didn’t fight with much urgency until the last round.

A left-right combination by Izmailov rocked Foster just before the bell sounded to end the 10th and final round.

Izmailov was aggressive and snapped Foster’s head back with a right hand about a minute into the 10th round. Fitch warned Izmailov and Foster for illegal tactics 30 seconds into the 10th round.

Foster countered Izmailov with a right hook less than 10 seconds into the ninth round.

Foster’s jab worked well for him in the eighth round, in which he was more active and accurate. A frustrated Izmailov flung Foster to the canvas with just under a minute to go in the eighth round, which drew a warning from Fitch.

Izmailov landed a right to the side of Foster’s head with just under 30 seconds on the clock in the seventh round.

After flooring Foster toward the end of the fifth round, Izmailov landed the harder punches throughout the sixth round. Foster landed a left hand that backed Izmailov into a corner with about 20 seconds to go in the sixth round, but Izmailov didn’t seem impacted by that shot.

A flush right hand by Izmailov caught Foster late in the fifth round and dropped him to his gloves and knees. Foster answered Fitch’s count at seven and the bell rang before Izmailov could throw another punch at his vulnerable opponent.

Izmailov landed two right hands within a five-second span with just over a minute to go in the fifth round. Izmailov’s right hand landed a little less than 20 seconds into the fifth round.

Izmailov snapped back Foster’s head with just over 20 seconds to go in the fourth round.

Foster’s short left connected with just over 1:20 remaining in the fourth round. Foster landed a left hand barely 1:10 into the fourth round.

Foster kept Izmailov mostly at a distance during the third round, just as he did in the second round. Izmailov rarely got inside on his left-handed opponent in a third round Foster seemed to win.

Foster landed a straight left 40 seconds into the third round.

Foster stuck out his jab hand throughout the second round to keep Izmailov at a distance and controlled the action during those three minutes.

Izmailov landed a hard right with just over a minute remaining in the first round.

Foster tied up Izmailov numerous times in the opening round to try to keep Izmailov from throwing hard shots at him. Fitch warned Foster for hitting Izmailov behind his head 45 seconds into their fight.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.